Constant anxiety and fear post husbands BAV replacement

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Duxx

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Joined
Aug 12, 2017
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Abu Dhabi, UAE
Previous message was cut off:

My husband had an unexpected BAV replacement in July 2017, and it was successful (thank God!) and he has recovered nicely. I never left his side, ICU and 2 weeks in hospital, and 6-7 weeks out of office on sick leave. I was scared as hell, but I had to be brave and pull through with his family. It's now been 6 months, and he's feeling great (thank God!) and is getting his cardiac recovery slowly back. But all the easy things he used to do, we need to
slowly build back up (stair cases etc). Sadly, since around 2-3 weeks, I am getting anxious every night, I re-live the moments when I first saw him coming out of ICU, I have gained a lot of weight And I'm depressed and cry a lot. Again, emotionally, we are okay, but something has just unbalanced itself and I need to snap out of it and be there for him and be a positive reinforcement in his life. Any suggestions from wives or SO that have been through this? Is this normal for me? I feel so selfish feeling like this, but I cannot control it. I feel like our entire lives have changed from what we know, and we are newly weds and have our whole lives in front of us. I want to make this right, and I want to be the supportive happy wife, not the paranoid, 'did you measure your INR!', stop eating greens, did your take your meds paranoid wife. I want us to be the way we were pre-surgery and pre-Warfarin (for life). It's changed us and our marriage and it shouldn't. I want us to be exactly what we were, and I know I need to be the one to change things. Please share your experiences. Thanks!
 

Duxx

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2017
Messages
5
Location
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Previous message was cut off:

My husband had an unexpected BAV replacement in July 2017, and it was successful (thank God!) and he has recovered nicely. I never left his side, ICU and 2 weeks in hospital, and 6-7 weeks out of office on sick leave. I was scared as hell, but I had to be brave and pull through with his family. It's now been 6 months, and he's feeling great (thank God!) and is getting his cardiac recovery slowly back. But all the easy things he used to do, we need to
slowly build back up (stair cases etc). Sadly, since around 2-3 weeks, I am getting anxious every night, I re-live the moments when I first saw him coming out of ICU, I have gained a lot of weight And I'm depressed and cry a lot. Again, emotionally, we are okay, but something has just unbalanced itself and I need to snap out of it and be there for him and be a positive reinforcement in his life. Any suggestions from wives or SO that have been through this? Is this normal for me? I feel so selfish feeling like this, but I cannot control it. I feel like our entire lives have changed from what we know, and we are newly weds and have our whole lives in front of us. I want to make this right, and I want to be the supportive happy wife, not the paranoid, 'did you measure your INR!', stop eating greens, did your take your meds paranoid wife. I want us to be the way we were pre-surgery and pre-Warfarin (for life). It's changed us and our marriage and it shouldn't. I want us to be exactly what we were, and I know I need to be the one to change things. Please share your experiences. Thanks!
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
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Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Hi
Duxx;n880933 said:
My husband had an unexpected BAV replacement in July 2017, and it was successful (thank God!) and he has recovered nicely.
excellent, I'm glad. Actually its the majority situation that he recovers nicely ... most of us do :)


Sadly, since around 2-3 weeks, I am getting anxious every night, I re-live the moments when I first saw him coming out of ICU, I have gained a lot of weight And I'm depressed and cry a lot. ... I feel so selfish feeling like this, but I cannot control it.
this sounds like you are suffering a grief reaction and possibly depression ... I strongly advise you seek some professional guidance on this or if you wish just talk with us here, express your fears and try to work through it.


. I want us to be the way we were pre-surgery and pre-Warfarin (for life). It's changed us and our marriage and it shouldn't.
I feel that part of the problem is you have been misled on how life is after warfarin. I too was led to believe that it was a "bad thing" by indirect comments from medical people. As I recovered and learned I found that the reality of being on warfarin was nothing like the views expressed by medical professionals (who it turns out are largely ignorant anyway).

My life after surgery is more or less what it was before surgery (although the transition from 48 to 54 has some other side effects).

Have a read of my blog on my warfarin management and know that it can all be managed with just a little effort. I take a few minutes a saturday to manage mine for the week.

Some of my blog posts:
http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com/2014/09/managing-my-inr.html

and this one on how I managed my warfarin (and my reasonings) around a recent colonoscopy.
http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com/2017/12/perioperative-management-of-inr.html

the staff at the Gastroenterologists office were quite resistant to me doing it my way, but when I pushed back and got to speak with the Gastro herself she was comfortable with me doing it my way.

Please do seek some counselling about your personal trauma on this. Its important to fix these things quickly before they become "a life of their own" in your mind.

Best Wishes
 

Superman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
744
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
It's interesting that even eight years after my second open heart, I'm still learning how it affected my wife and kids. I started pretty young with my first as a teenager, so it was always very much a "me" thing. Selfishly I felt that I'm the one going through this. But it is hard to watch a loved one be a shell of their former self, even if it is just for a while.

I echo pellicle's response that, barring unusual complications (I do hope that's not the case), life does largely get back to normal. I'm 45 years old, father of five awesome kids, husband to a wife who's out of my league, and I've been addicted to Warfarin for 27 years now. Wrong meeting? Life is good. We've visited 15 or so national parks, Canada, been to Disney World a few times, I've been downhill skiing, mountain biking, swam in the ocean, ran a 25k and a number of shorter runs, etc., etc., all while on Warfarin. Home testing makes that easier than ever, but even before I had that - I'd test before vacation and after we got back just to see if the change of pace triggered a need for a change in dose.

Your feelings are yours, and none of us can tell you how to feel. However, I do hope some of the testimony of us here can help you with them even if just a little bit.

P.S. - If you're telling him to, "stop eating greens", I would suggest you're getting some bad information. Test regularly. "Dose the diet." Test regularly. "Dose the diet." Rinse. Repeat. 27 years in. I eat spinach, brussell sprouts, brocolli, salads, etc. I test weekly. Consistency is key. The only green I avoid entirely is Kryptonite.

Merry Christmas!
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
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Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Superman;n880941 said:
It's interesting that even eight years after my second open heart, I'm still learning how it affected my wife and kids. I started pretty young with my first as a teenager, so it was always very much a "me" thing. Selfishly I felt that I'm the one going through this. ...
P.S. - If you're telling him to, "stop eating greens", I would suggest you're getting some bad information. Test regularly. "Dose the diet." Test regularly. "Dose the diet." Rinse. Repeat. 27 years in. I eat spinach, brussell sprouts, brocolli, salads, etc. I test weekly. Consistency is key. The only green I avoid entirely is Kryptonite.
Love your work Mr Kent
 

Duxx

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2017
Messages
5
Location
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Dear Pellicle,

Thank you so much for your reply and your message. And I look forward to reading the links you kindly shared about life with Warfarin - I will definitely take my learnings to share with my husband. I cannot tell you how reassuring it is to read everything is going to be okay coming from those who know first hand- totally different credibility and believability than when my family tell me that. So thank you so much for taking the time to respond to someone.

I have considered counselling, but I haven't noticed an approach that I can stick with, so will try to see if I can explore some more options. Hubby says he is fine when I ask.
Is it possible he's in denial and I should encourage him to visit with me!?
 

pellicle

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Nov 4, 2012
Messages
6,449
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
great ... my replies vanish

Hi

I'm glad I can offer anything which helps ...

on this subject:
Duxx;n880949 said:
I have considered counselling, but I haven't noticed an approach that I can stick with, so will try to see if I can explore some more options. Hubby says he is fine when I ask.
Is it possible he's in denial and I should encourage him to visit with me!?
I think that as you are married you are hopefully a team. As a team you should trust each other and share with each other (at least that's how I ran my marriage), so to me both going to the counselling and both discussing the points and outcomes and goals of that together before and after is a good thing. Discussion needs to be honest, sensitive, caring and patient.

Myself in the handling of my own grief issues I've found the following to be true:
  • it takes time
  • write things down, not only for clarity but for you yourself to re-read and not lose the inspirations which come to you (I have a "thought for the day" topic in my Google Keep for instance).
  • to steer a ship takes a constant (if gentle) pressure to steer it in the direction you want, there are no "quick fixes"
  • the journey matters as much as the destination (meaning that what you do on the way is where you end up)
Something I often say here is that valve surgery is not "about you" its about your family too. Just as every other part of your life the decisions you make need to include them in your thinking. As I wrote in a blog post:



Anyway, enough about you, think for a moment about your family.

My wife was distraught at the thought of my surgery (more so than me), she was beside me every step of the way. She said to me in recovery that some of the happiest moments of her life were in seeing me get better every day.

She put on a brave face, but the fact is that she was scared shitless that I would die and she would be left without me.

She was so pleased because she was so relieved. I would not want to put her through that again. If you are a reasonably healthy adult, and you choose a tissue valve you will for sure be putting your loved ones through it again.

Is that something you want to do to them?
On the emotions, I can say when I was recovering from my 2011 surgery my wife was both distraught and a pillar of strength. I was depressed for a while (which made her sad) and I eventually saw that, I did not want that to create a toxin in our love. So I struggled against it. I suggest you discuss this with your love.

Best Wishes my friend
 

Duxx

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2017
Messages
5
Location
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Dear Superman,

Thank you for taking the time to respond also! And wishing you and everyone on this page and their families a belated Merry Xmas and a very happy new year filled with lots of good health and happiness! ❤ Reading through your response put a smile on my face! My husband was very active and loves to run 10km every morning and enjoys his time at the gym. He is on his cardiac recovery and is sometimes frustrated that he cannot do all the things he used to easily do, and I keep reminding him that this is a journey and he will get back there and that has only been 5 months since his surgery. He is back on a treadmill and on an incline and a fast walk, but hasn't progressed to any jogging yet. He is slowly lifting light weights to rebuild all the muscle loss, and I am by his side to encourage and push him when he needs it. But reading you have ran your 25km marathons has confirmed to me that he will be right back to his old routine in no time. And we don't have children yet, so I look forward to knowing we can do all of that with our children too, and continue our love for traveling. So reassuring to read what you have shared, thank you so much. You really are Super man God bless all of you, and your inner and outter strength. Thank you for sharing such personal moments with me.
 

Duxx

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2017
Messages
5
Location
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Dear Agian,

Thank you so much for your message as well. I pray he will, and I will make it my mission to make sure he is :) Thank you for taking the time to respond
 

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